Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Clip Show

It's getting to the stage on the political calendar when I'm writing LESS and actually doing MORE, which is one reason I have largely ignored the Republican convention.

Another reason is: I don't really like conventions. I trace this to the childhood trauma of a family vacation in 1972, back in the caveman days of only three channels of TV, and all three were doing gavel to gavel convention. I can't remember if it was Nixon's re-coronation or the endless Democratic VP roll call, but it was deadly dull for an eight year old.

My interest in politics waxed later, and Hunter Thompson later taught me how interesting `72 really was in the greatest book ever written, but the significance of conventions waned. Mike Murphy sums up some of the many reasons we should slay this dinosaur. That said, yeah, I probably will watch Mitt's speech.

Another problem is they're simply too late, with next week's Democratic convention setting a new record. I said it before: If we're going to have the conventions this late, the third parties should get a time extension to get on the ballot.

Which would definitely help Gary Johnson. Ballot Access News has a good summary about the arguments in the effort to strike Johnson from the Iowa ballot. Later coverage noted that at least one challenger is a Romney staffer, which should surprise exactly no one. Perhaps they'll use the same "well, he didn't technically qualify, but he tried" legal logic they used to leave Joe "Fibbin' Fisherman" Seng on the primary ballot. No word on the other ballot challenge, against independent WTF candidate Jerry Litzel. The Johnson decision is due tomorrow.

In the big picture, a half a point for the Libertarians in Iowa dings Romney much worse than Obama, and Romney has tougher national math. William Galston has the guide to which states to watch early on election night while Mark Halperin rejects the premise: "(Romney) can’t win this piece-by-piece. There’s just too many states where he’s behind where the President is strong. I think it’s going to be a wave. I don’t think he can cherry pick the electoral college at this point."

Ronald Brownstein offers a different kind of math:
For President Obama, the winning formula can be reduced to 80/40. In 2008, Obama won a combined 80 percent of the votes of all minority voters, including not only African-Americans but also Hispanics, Asians, and others. If Obama matches that performance this year, he can squeak out a national majority with support from about 40 percent of whites—so long as minorities at least match the 26 percent of the vote they cast last time.

Obama’s strategic equation defines Mitt Romney’s formula: 61/74. Romney’s camp is focused intently on capturing at least 61 percent of white voters. That would provide him a slim national majority—so long as whites constitute at least 74 percent of the vote, as they did last time, and Obama doesn’t improve on his 80 percent showing with minorities.
This explains pretty much everything that is happening right now, in the field and in the media, including and especially the vote suppression wars. It also explains why a largely white liberal college town is one of the worst vantage points from which to watch this election.

1 comment:

Mayor Fritz said...

I consider myself a Libertarian Republican. Voted for Paul in the caucus. Was waiting to see who Romney picked for VP. Was leaning LP Candidate Gary Johnson, but if Romney came thru with a good veep, I figured I might go with Romney.

With Paul Ryan, I was pondering going back to Romney. But with his team's shenanigans to keep Johnson off the ballot, that ain't happnin'. If Johnson makes the ballot, I am voting for him. If they keep him off, it ain't gonna by Romney. No way I'm voting for 0bama either. Probably just vote for one of the socialists. At least they have the nads to call themselves what they are.